In a brand-new series of The South Bank Show, a host of the arts’ leading figures discuss their work, influences and inspirations in a collection of eye-opening interviews with Melvyn Bragg.

The South Bank Show returns to Sky Arts this July with a new line-up of exclusive interviews featuring director and screenwriter Amma Asante, musician Benjamin Clementine, artist Yinka Shonibare MBE and more.

Speaking about the new series, Melvyn Bragg said: “This is the most varied and ambitious series that we’ve done. New and established artists filmed on location and delivering the artist’s voice and work from a group of talented and energetic Directors. I think it’s a great six-pack.”

Highlights include Benjamin Clementine, one of the most talented musicians of his generation. A self-taught pianist, singer and songwriter, his unique approach to music has attracted widespread critical acclaim, as well as netting him the coveted 2015 Mercury Prize for his debut album, At Least for Now. Melvyn Bragg talks to Benjamin about his unusual life and even stranger music career. The self-confessed loner fled his home in Edmonton, London, aged 16, only to end up as a homeless busker in Paris as a 19-year-old. By 25, he had found musical stardom. Benjamin, returns to his most cherished hideaways in and around Edmonton, and then travels to New York, the city that provided him the inspirational backdrop for his forthcoming second album.

Amma Asante is a screenwriter and film director, who became only the second black British female filmmaker to have a feature film distributed in the UK. She talks to Melvyn about her London upbringing with Ghanaian parents, being a child actor in Grange Hill, and the importance of telling stories from different points of view. Amma’s films include the BAFTA award-winning A Way of Life, Belle, A United Kingdom, and Where Hands Touch, which is due for release later this year.

Melvyn catches up with artist Yinka Shonibare MBE at the Royal Academy of Art, for the annual Summer Exhibition. As a member of the hanging committee, Yinka helped to choose this year’s successful submissions and was also invited to exhibit his own new work, including a re- imagining of the classical sculpture Venus de’ Medici. In the Royal Academy courtyard, we see Yinka’s Originally made for Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth, this large sculpture is now permanently housed outside the National Maritime Museum and will also feature as part of this fascinating South Bank Show on the artist.

The South Bank Show is part of the portfolio of South Bank content on Sky Arts produced by Directors Cut Productions, which includes The South Bank Sky Arts Awards, the only awards in the world that focus on the arts in their entirety, honouring the very best of British culture and achievement, and The South Bank Show Originals, featuring famous past episodes with added footage and extra interviews and contributors.


The South Bank Show air dates:

  • Amma Asante – 19 July at 8pm and catch-up
  • Benjamin Clementine – 9 August at 8pm
  •  Yinka Shonibare MBE – 23 August at 8pm and catch-up

See full The South Bank Show schedule here.